The second Kiss solo album in the review series is none other than the Demon himself, Gene Simmons. Gene’s album was released on the same day as all the other band members on September 18, 1978. And Gene had the distinction of being the highest ranked album on the Billboard charts at #22, however, that doesn’t mean it was the best of the bunch.
Gene approached his album a little different than the other members. Gene wanted as many people as he could possibly get to appear on his album. And he delivered a smorgasbord of guest including Joe Perry from Aerosmith, his current girlfriend Cher, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Bob Seger, Helen Reddy, Donna Summer, Michael Des Barres and an unknown artist at the time Katy Sagal (you know her as Peg Bundy from Married with Children). And an interesting note on the album is that Gene did not play bass on it at all, that was handled by Neil Jason.
I was walking through an Antique Mall as my daughter had found another great place to buy used vinyl. We came to a booth that didn’t have a ton of books, but there was one book there that immediately caught my eye. It was the Gene Simmons’ autobiography called “Kiss and Make-Up”. I had not read yet, so I grabbed it. And at only $5, it was a steal.
And what did I think? It was okay. It was an easy read, but there was really nothing surprising or earth shattering. I did forget he dated Diana Ross, but I knew about Cher so no shocker. I had forgotten about some of the movies he did, but not ‘Runaway’ as I loved that one.
It was interesting to read about his childhood as it did explain a lot about who he is and why he is the way he is. Gene is definitely full of himself and you know what, that is okay. He knows it and I was worried I would like him even less after reading this, but I didn’t. I actually like a little more. I feel I understand him a little more.
Have a seat and prepare to stay awhile. There are a ton of releases this week and the most we have had on the list in quite awhile. A lot of these are throwback artist that have been around a very long time and it is awesome to get some new releases from them even if there are some greatest hit type packages. My favorites are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in or if I missed anything. Thanks and have a great weekend!!
Tom Petty – An American Treasure – (Reprise Records)– From the press release…The 60-track set unveils dozens of previously unreleased recordings, alternate versions of classic songs, rarities, historic live performances and deep tracks that spotlight Tom’s remarkable depth and evolution as a revered and tremendously influential songwriter, recording artist and performer. An American Treasure marks the first release of Tom Petty music since the artist’s tragic passing in October 2017. I don’t think I can add to that.
Billy Idol – Vital Idol: Revitalized – (Capitol Records): I love Billy Idol and not sure I need another Vital Idol, but if it is as creative and good as the first, than this will be a nice addition. Plus it has a remix of “Save Me Now” which is one of my favorite Idol songs. I will get this one. I didn’t see a video, so here is Save Me Now (Original).
This might be the last 45 Single I had in my box of vinyl that is anywhere near worth mentioning. It is Cher’s 1971 single for “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”. It is from her seventh album for which it is the title song. It is also Cher’s first #1 song as a solo artists. “Believe” it or not, she has only had 4 #1 songs as a solo artist (not counting the Dance charts).
I don’t have the cover jacket for the album, only the 45 itself. The cover is below…
The song is about a girl who was born in a wagon and raised by her parents who were what people called Gypsies. They earned money preaching and selling “their services” (if you know what I mean). In their travels, they pick up young man the tender age of 21. He ends up sleeping with the 16 year old girl and winds up pregnant. The boy disappears and the girl ends up having her baby in a wagon and she ends up selling her services for money. Her life went full circle.
Off Rod Stewart’s 1978 album ‘Blondes Have More Fun’ comes one of his most memorable songs “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”. The song reached #1 in the US, Canada and the UK as well as 3 other countries. It sold over 2,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone and according to Rolling Stones magazine is #308 of the Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song was a little more disco than what Rod was used to releasing. He had previously been more of a blues rock singer. As a result, the rock critics were not quite happy with the song.
According to wikipedia (the most reliable source on earth), the song had some legal issues due to copyright infringement cases brought against it. The song…
incorporates elements of the melody from the song “Taj Mahal” by Jorge Ben Jor and the string arrangement from the song “Put Something Down On It” by Bobby Womack.
Regardless, it is still one of Rod’s most popular songs. What I love about the cover, is the girl is not Blonde even though the album was ‘Blondes Have More Fun’. I had also heard that the lady on the cover was Cher, but I couldn’t find anything that backed that up. I will still think it though.